By Joe Ragonese
Fear is a contagion that renders those under its grasp helpless; unless they control that fear. Warriors control fear, while cowards let it control them. Fear can be used for either good or evil, depending on those who wield it. Trying to make someone afraid of your actions is a control mechanism that good people put to use to alleviate a problem, often before it has happened, or a tool to enhance evil, when in the hands of someone doing harm. Either way, Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best at his first inaugural on March 8, 1933, assuring Americans while in the worst part of the Great Depression.
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — (emphasis added) nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
His speech continued, but the guiding part of the speech was in the words, “The only thing we have to fear…is fear itself.” That proclamation is as true today as it was in 1933 when Americans, confused and frightened by 25% of them out of work and the nation seeming to fall apart in front of their very eyes, elected a man to office on the promise that he would guide them out of the deep economic hole we were in at the time.
Fast forward to January 2017, and another new President is sworn into office, Donald J. Trump, on the promise to Make America Great Again, a phrase that Roosevelt only wished he had coined. During his inaugural speech he said: “The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There is no fear, (emphasis added) we are protected and will always be protected by the great men and women of our military and most importantly we will be protected by God. Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. As Americans, we know we live as a nation only when it is striving.”
President Trump was elected to lead America out of an economic darkness no less frightening to Americans that it was at the time of the Great Depression. In fact, times were as desperate as they were during the Great Depression to many Americans, especially those living in middle-America where jobs fled to foreign lands because of trade agreements beneficial to everyone but American citizens. Both times also presented great national danger from foreign countries, intent on harming America.
Russia was one of those nations back in 1933, whose desire it was to spread the nemesis of communism worldwide, but there were other dire threats to American sovereignty, that of the axis powers whose plan was to rule the world on their terms. Our armed forces were only a shadow of what they had been when they last went to war, yet America allowed other nations to lead the way, like France and England, to control the baser instincts of the Axis warmongers.
Of course, the greatest sell out of all times occurred when out of pure fear of confrontation Neville Chamberlin, Great Briton’s Prime Minister, gave Germany everything they wanted, including the sovereign nation of Czechoslovakia, to appease Adolf Hitler. That appeasement lead directly to Germany’s attack on Poland and brought the world into its Second World War in the 20th Century. Bullies always seize the initiative when they sense weakness.
And therein lies the lesson of why we must go boldly into a confrontation with those who wish America harm, and to control the world on their terms. We must have no fear, or the consequences will be dire.
That is exactly what President Trump has done, along with NATO partners, the United Kingdom and France, with their combined attack on Syria, to punish them for their bad behavior in gassing innocent civilians. Russia has already stated that there will be dire consequences for embracing Vladimir Putin. Both liberals and progressives are frozen in fear, having learned nothing from history. They think that if you let a bully push you around he will be satisfied before he really hurts you. Of course, that is nonsense.
The only way to stop a bully is to punch them in the eye. And that is exactly what President Trump did to Vladimir Putin when he responded to their threat to shoot down any missiles directed into Syria, and to destroy the vehicle that delivered those missiles, by pressing forward with the strike on chemical production facilities. President Trump let bully Putin know that there are dire consequences when pushing America around; at least this President.
Barack Obama taught us what a frightened, cowardly President will do, and that is back down to confrontation, even after drawing a red line in the sand. That act of cowardice emboldened Russia enough to send troops into Syria, in direct competition with American interest in that area. The only way to return American interest in that ares is to boldly confront Russia. That is what just happened.
Our attack was limited, while embarrassing Russia, it should not lead to war; however, when you kick the bear in the butt, there is always that chance. Russia doesn’t want a war with America, they know they can’t win one, even a limited war in Syria. Their economy is so fragile that they can barely keep their small armed forces afield, let alone widening the burden through all out war.
They may strike in a small way to regain a bit of their lost stature elsewhere; but the probability of full scale war over Syria is small. Yet if we back down, it is just the signal they need to move forward and recklessly attack our forces. Weakness breads aggression.
While their armed forces may be at or near peer level to ours, especially since we insist on weakening ours with Godlessness, females, homosexuals and transgender combatants, ours is still way superior to theirs, combined with a growing economy that will allow us to pour vast resources into a war with them on any field of battle. It is a winning combination, unless you show fear of using it.
Showing strength in the face of Syria’s actions may save the world from war with Russia. It may even stop a war with North Korea, you can bet your bottom dollar that Kim is watching these events unfold. So is China. Yet, China is a completely different animal, who will see our resolve, yet still disregard it. Yet showing strength to Russia, will show American’s willingness to use force to China; possibly stopping a war with them, too.
History has shown, on more than one occasion, that weakness, in the form of appeasement, not following through on threats, or hesitation in the face of danger, leads to war, and has never prevented one. In fact, the only wars prevented are those where both belligerents are strong, and willing to go to war. When faced with a maybe they can win but aren’t sure, most aggressors stand down. But when weakness is shown, on any level, it emboldens an aggressor into believing that they can defeat those who showed weakness. Just look at Japan in WWII when America showed little to no interest in going to war.
The only way to assure peace is through overwhelming strength, and a willingness to use that power. President Trump showed no fear when he let the missiles fly into Syria, rather is demonstrated that if you yank at the eagle’s tail feathers there will be severe consequences.
NO FEAR isn’t just a cute sentiment to sell running shoes, it is the only way an American President must behave.